Friday, 15 April 2016

Phew!

I'm exhausted. I've had a really busy few weeks, exciting weeks but exhausting all the same. It really has been all go here. Nothing happens for months and then in a frenzy of activity everything changes in a few short weeks!

I'm settling in well with my new job and feeling that I'm finding my feet. The paperwork at the end of the day seemed a little daunting at first; it's been a long time since I've really had to put my brain into gear, but it's all coming together now. I'll be working alone mostly but the rest of the team seem really friendly and it's nice to know I can just give them a call if I get stuck.

I love, love, love my new car :) Thank you so much to all of you who offered suggestions and advice, it was very much appreciated. Car hunting was more daunting than I thought but I'm very happy with my final choice, a Mercedes no less! How about that? It's a bit older than I think my family would have liked, but the mileage is low and it's in pretty good condition having only had one previous owner. Most importantly I feel comfortable driving it and it's a practical size for just little old me without me feeling as though I'm driving around in something the size of a matchbox. I'm getting good mpg too which I'm very pleased about. I've done quite a bit of exploring on my days off, it's still a novelty after all, but even so my diesel bill has been lower than I expected. That's perhaps as well as I'm having to make my last JSA payment stretch until payday.

Friday, 1 April 2016

I'm Going Car Shopping

Well I've started my new job and I love it. I'm very glad I should have a car by next week though as getting there has been quite an ordeal. Rural bus services being what they are, finding a bus that goes where I want to go when I want to go there has been quite a challenge and with the ridiculous way the timetables are organised it always seems that I just miss the connections. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving in town on one bus to see the next one you need just disappearing out of sight at the end of the road, especially when there's an hour wait for the next one. As it was my first few days I didn't have to start work until 9.30 am but I've been leaving home at quarter past five!

It really is a good job I passed my driving test or it just wouldn't be sustainable.

I have a week off now as my parents are coming to visit so they can take me 'car shopping'. I can't remember the last time I bought anything more exciting than food so that's going to be quite an experience. I'm glad I'll have help and advice, even if I'm sure my step-dad and I will have very different views on suitable cars haha.

I know common sense says I need a small, economical car but I much prefer bigger models. It's silly I suppose but I feel safer in a bigger car with a high driving position but they cost more to insure and run. Oh the dilemma. Obviously I'm going to have to compromise, running costs are going to be a top priority. I'm not too fussed about looks. It'd be nice to have a fancy car that looks nice (I absolutely love the Chrysler pt cruiser to give you some idea of my -possibly eccentric- tastes) but all that really matters is it has four wheels and an engine.

If any of you lovely people have any suggestions for a car that is economical, practical and has a driving position high enough to see where I'm going instead of feeling like my bum's dragging along the floor, please, suggest away.

Oh and reputable used car dealers in the south west (Cornwall, Devon, maybe even Somerset)... any recommendations? After a few bad experiences my parents refuse to consider private sellers and I don't even know where to begin looking.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

I Passed!

I've only gone and done it, I've passed my driving test! I'm absolutely over the moon (and exhausted after a week of intensive lessons) I don't think it's really sunk in yet. It's been a really stressful week and I was so nervous, but somehow I managed to relax for the test itself and actually enjoy the drive. Even so, I was still stunned when the examiner turned to say 'congratulations, you've passed.'

It's perfect timing too as I start my new job next week. Yes, I've got a job too :) I don't do things by halves do I? It's only a part time job but I'm really looking forward to it. I'm finally feeling like I'm in control of my life and the extra independence that comes with being able to drive is opening so many new doors.

Right now though, I'm going to put my feet up and relax. I think I've earned it.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Feeling Pleased With Myself

I had a driving lesson today and I've finally nailed reversing around a corner! That's always been my nemesis. I failed my first driving test many, many years ago by completely screwing up the reversing and it's scared me ever since. 

Learning to drive was pretty low on my list of priorities for a long time; my husband drove so there was no sense of urgency, especially while we were living in London and had excellent public transport on the doorstep. Now I'm kicking myself for not having done it years ago. Hopefully I'll be on the road very soon and I can say goodbye to waiting at bus stops. 

I'm shattered today after a four hour lesson but it was so worth it. It's certainly given me some much needed confidence having mastered that hated reversing around a corner. I can't believe I struggled so much before, once the penny dropped and I got the knack I couldn't believe how simple it was. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Soooooo Tired and a Bit Frustrated

Well I had another job interview today. It's only part time and, worryingly, a zero hour contract to boot, but I really do want to get back to work and I'm willing to give anything a go just to get me back out there. It would do me good to get back out there.

It's been a long day though. Although the interview wasn't until 10:30 my alarm went off at five and I was out of the house by 6.15 am for the four mile walk to the bus stop! The first bus locally isn't until gone nine o clock so that wasn't much use to me. I finally got home some 12 hours later!!! It would have been sooner but I'd had to rearrange my signing on time at the job centre to accommodate the interview, so all in all it's been a very long day.

I have treated myself to a (very rare) bottle of wine. Surprisingly good too for £3.49! Very soft and a little too easy to drink! It's Three Mills Reserve Red. I know you can get it in B&M for a little more (£3.89 I think) but I picked it up in an off licence on the outskirts of Plymouth for the cheaper price.

An old friend and colleague posted on facebook tonight about how those on benefits should get their money on cards that can only be spent in certain places and can't be used for alcohol. While I understand her point of view... and yes, there are those who will buy booze instead of putting food on the table... frankly it annoyed me. I think it's very blinkered. The vast majority of those on benefits are decent people who really, REALLY, don't want to be there and are human too. We all have those days where we just need to relax and feel like anyone else. Sensible people, most people, know those days are few and far between but sometimes you have to give in to that urge for that glass of wine or unhealthy food because well, dammit, you deserve a treat. A little treat, whatever it is, can make you feel 'normal' again, whatever it is.

And a treat is all it is. I'll enjoy this glass and maybe, if I'm feeling really indulgent, another with the hotpot I have in the oven but then the top will go back on and that will be it. I do find it frustrating to be told as I'm not working I should just exist; have no fun, never let my hair down and relax. What many don't realise is that when you are signing on you have had to sign a contract dictating how much time you spend looking for work. Any deviation from this can result in being sanctioned and ending up with no money. If you haven't been out of work before, or not recently, you may not realise that looking for work can amount to a full time job in itself. It takes a lot of time and it can be so,so demoralising.

Yet we keep going because ultimately we want to get out of this hole we are in. No one in their right mind enjoys being unemployed. These T.V programmes you see and the newspaper articles you read about wasters sitting on their backsides doing nothing while spending good taxpayers money on drink, drugs and plasma T.V's? Cobblers!! I don't know how they do it because everyone I know who isn't working is having a tough time just putting food on the table and paying the bills.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Migraine upon Migraine

Sorry folks, I've been a bit quiet and I know some of you have been asking how my job interview went. Well, I didn't get the job but maybe that's just as well given the absolute nightmare I had getting there and back on public transport. Rural bus services simply aren't reliable enough to make travelling more than a few miles a viable option so I'm back to job searching but looking closer to home - until I'm driving at least. I was a little disappointed as it would have been a lovely place to work, but it gave me experience of having an interview and clarified a few things for me so I'm taking something positive from it.

I've been plagued with migraines ever since though, and when I haven't had a migraine my body's thrown a nice, simple, bog standard headache at me instead... y'know, just in case I get bored.
I don't think it's really anything to worry about, I've had migraines for years and I do occasionally go through patches like this. It'll pass, I'm sure but just to be on the safe side I'm seeing my G.P later this week. In the meantime I'm keeping my head down... quite literally. It's hard to lift my poor head off the pillow some days let alone venture into blogland. I'll pop by whenever feel up to it and keep my fingers crossed the doctor has a solution because I'm starting to think seriously about decapitation ;)

Friday, 26 February 2016

News

Just a quickie because I'm shattered and haven't even thought about dinner yet but.... drum roll... I have a job interview! Eeeeek! On Monday so it's pretty short notice but I'm really excited. It's my first interview in years so I'm being realistic but what's the worst that can happen? I get some practice at having interviews. Whatever the outcome this is really positive... now I just have to find something smart to wear.